tv Bloomberg Business Week Bloomberg September 18, 2016 4:00pm-5:01pm EDT
carol: welcome to a special "bloomberg businessweek." this week, the issue is focused from front to back on the election. david: but we're talking about the u.s. presidential election. carol: and it's not about politics. david: no, it's about people. carol: red, blue, white, non-white. david: rich, female, non-female. let's get started. ♪ david: we're here with ellen pollock. you're picking apart this notion of two americas, something we hear a lot about on the campaign trail, essentially what the
magazine interprets that are many more americas than that. ellen: we have done an election issue before and we decided that this time around, we shouldn't focus on just the politics because you couldn't open any newspaper, look online at any site and that's all anybody is talking about is the day-to-day politics of the campaign. and so we decided to focus on the people who are going to make the decision on the division which has led to a very unusual campaign. and we took it from there. carol: i felt like i was on the ground in america. it's very easy to get a certain perspective but i felt like i was all around the country. ellen: we sent reporters and photographers from the state of washington to alabama, we really went everywhere and talked to people. at one point, we joked it was
the no expert zone that we were really talking to real people. and i think that is reflected in the story and you get a sense of what americans are feeling right now. carol: let's talk about one of the places you guys went to and this is the place with the most refugees in the united states, tacoma, washington. ellen: it is adjacent to seattle and i haven't heard about it either and there's been a lot of refugees settled there from a variety of places. africa is a big former home of a lot of these people. and they are coming and starting new lives. and it's something like 40% of the population of this town are people from somewhere else. and then they talk to us about their hopes and about what they're doing now. and it's very touching. david: what is it about that town? why has it drown so many -- drawn so many refugees? ellen: because there were agencies that settled them there.
and that they tracked more people who have come from other places and we have this incredible nugget of data, something like 80 languages are spoken in the public schools there. carol: i love that and the pictures are really gorgeous. and so are the people. david: there are so many stakeholders featured in the magazine. you look at children of the undocumented immigrants with the most to lose or the most to win on this election? ellen: these people can't vote but they would love to be americans and they would love to vote and they are people who came here as very young people. and they are allowed to stay here temporarily because of the obama's executive orders but their future is very uncertain and they are setting -- they have roots here and they have jobs here and they talk about their hopes for the future. >> i spoke to the editor who spearheaded this issue about this story. >> arizona has one of the highest populations of undocumented immigrants in the u.s. but more importantly for us, they also have the second
highest rate of the country who applied for the federal program for undocumented young adults. this is a program put in by the president after the senate failed to pass immigration reform. the president said fine. i can do this by executive action. and now you have this enormous population of people who applied for this program. it's a two-year program. and if somebody who doesn't want to continue it, it goes away. it's pretty much sure that if hillary clinton is elected, the program will stand and if donald trump is elected, he said he will get rid of it. so here they are. were they willing to talk? yes. these are the people who came here as very young children as part of the program. it's a requirement that you have to be under 16 when you came to the u.s. and they've made their lives here. and they have applied for and now a part of this program.
they've talked about the relief of having document for the first time in their lives of being able to get jobs. we spoke to one couple who have a 1-year-old daughter and they said, you know, they were able now to get jobs on the books and build up a credit history and buy a house because of this program. and so of course, they're more than happy to talk about it because the federal government knows who they are and where they are. >> finally, right? >> i mean, this group included business owners. >> absolutely. one woman said she started -- so most of the people that we had in our group were politically active and that was in part of how we found them. there was a little network of people in phoenix who had been very active when the senate was debating immigration reform and just stuck with each other after the program was put into place. anyway, they have all done -- they're working as political consultants.
they're working as marketing specialists. one woman has her own consulting business and started clothesline and she said, you know, the thing is, i can be an employer as an undocumented immigrate. nobody cares if i'm an employer. i just can't be an employee. i can hire people. i can do all of those things. the truth is in the details. you don't think about it. there are all these little details that go into just building a life. david: one cover image encapsulates to the creative director. carol: we talked to him about how he did it. >> we decided to do something that's in the spirit of the issue. it's called "the electorate." it's basically more about the people than the candidates. >> the voters. >> yeah. throughout the issue, we sent photographers all around the country to shoot kind of, you know, ordinary americans, talked to them about their fears, their struggles and their hopes. and we came up with a lot of
amazing photography, so much that we had a lot of outtakes. carol: my first thought is it's like a patchwork of quilt. >> yeah, exactly. on the cover and throughout the issue, we made it a point to get like a very accurate cross-section of the country which is people of all races, genders, you know, backgrounds, ethnicities, just the melting pot, i guess. we only have so much in a cover but we thought we would pick a selection of the people that really represents what this country is. david: you mentioned all the photos you have on hand. how difficult did you have to end up the ones you ended up using? >> we determined that we had x amount of spaces to fill and then just like kept plugging away at each one until we had the right mix. carol: you know what i think is great is that here in new york, we will see so many different people get on the subway but this is what you see around america. >> it's true.
we wrote about a city that i've never heard of but apparently is a haven for refugees. and new york city is this unique place in america and it is. but there are actually so many other diverse parts of the country. carol: up next, what to expect from an election when every voter is mad as hell. david: and one most controversial editors, milo yiannopoulos. ♪
issue, a reporter investigates exactly what happens when an entire country is angry. >> think fear and anger tend to mashed together in one idea sort of negative campaigning and things like that. >> not the same? >> they're not the same, exactly. people who study it see them in certain what is that they're diametrically opposed. >> it's interesting you really get into a lot of psychology in your story and you talk about how positive emotions are approached and negative emotions are avoidance. anger is an approach mechanism. >> right. anger is a negative emotion and it doesn't -- we tend to think of it as an unintended emotion but it acts like happiness.
when you're angry, you want to go toward the thing that you're angry at, you want to act on it. you believe you can make a difference by acting on it whereas when you're afraid or sad, you actually tend to shrink from the world. anger feels good. so you can see why it's a very effective motivating political emotion. >> and angry people tend to be a little bit more optimistic? >> angry people are more optimistic of the future. they see themselves as more attractive to marital prospects. >> angry people also have some biases. >> angry people are not as interested in hearing new information. angry people are especially not interested in hearing information that contradicts their sort of pre-existing frame. whereas people who are afraid, people who are anxious tend to seek out information, new information and especially information that is sort of new to them and might even be surprising to them. they're sort of appraising the world around them. >> but they also have a bias to that new information. >> right. they tend to place more weight on information that's scary because they're already scared about the world. >> why is it that this is going on?
>> i think there's a bit of the way in which negative emotions get talked about by pundits and political journalists tend to be simplistic and that they're positive but the fact is fear and anger in particular are different. and if you want to get people -- if you want to sort of manipulate people, which is what sort of campaigns are about, you should know which to use to get what kind of effect. david: the conservative internet writer, milo yiannopoulos is the poster boy for the right movement. carol: his posts are so hostile that he was kicked off of it -- >> you write about the alt-right. who is this? >> yes. the alt-right is a lot like the european version of the far right. you know, they're younger, a
little more prankster oriented and troll oriented and they organize on the internet. it's breitbart.com, it's donald trump. >> it's donald trump. and you write about kind of the as you say, in your story, the pretty monstrous face of the alt-right. we're talking about milo yiannopoulos. who is he? >> he is the breitbart's star writer. the alt-right starter. the c.e.o. of breitbart is left to run trump's campaign. he is very pro trump, very anti-immigrate, very, you know, there's a lot of talk there about hillary clinton's health. you can find on that website. and milo is their biggest, brightest star. he travels around to colleges and, you know, inflames students and they protest. and he's about to head on a college tour. >> how would you describe him?
you spent some time with him, right? >> yeah. he's a super flamboyant gay british guy in his early 30's who is really well read, very entertaining and incredibly into offending and pissing people off. >> well how does he want to be perceived? does he want to be perceived as a political pundit? is he an entertainer? >> right? that is the question. he wants to be a pop star. he's really the new ann coulter but instead he wants to be the new beyonce. so there's some tension there. >> he got a lot of attention. i'll be honest, i wasn't so familiar but i went and looked at a bunch of videos and interviews he's done. but he gets a lot of attention in the public when he was banned on twitter. tell us what happened. >> yeah. he like much of the alt-right was upset about "ghostbusters." they felt like their beloved
"ghostbusters" of their youth was -- just like video games. some kind of feminist diatribe. they feel very strongly about pop culture and how it's being taken away from what they call western culture and it's really just white guys, right? so he was furious about "ghostbusters" and he said horrifying things about leslie jones online. and then twitter said that many of his followers, because he had about 350,000 followers on twitter had abused and harassed leslie jones online. and so they finally after multiple warnings over many things, just completely banned him from twitter. david: coming up, why money can't solve the race gap when it comes to education. >> why american parents are left happy than anywhere else. ♪
♪ david: welcome back to "bloomberg businessweek." carol: in the special election issue, why a special district can't solve the race gap. it's a troubling story and we spoke to the reporter. >> we find pretty big racial achievement gap in evanston. as you can find in other places in the country, but what we found most interesting and potentially alarming about evanston is that it has all the makings of a kind of ideal american city. you know, it is a college town,
northwestern is right almost it's relatively affluent. the community's very dedicated to public education. they spend a lot of money on it. and they have an integrated school system and that's why a lot of people are there. so despite all of that, there's still an achievement gap between white students and black and hispanic students. >> what accounts for it? what did you see that lead you to better understand why that gap is existent? >> yeah, there is an inequality of school systems in terms of how black students are treated, how they're disciplined. often just the expectations of them. and that has a pretty deep effect and it's separate from income. so what the research shows is that even among high income white and black students, there is an achievement gap. >> so the intent is there to do well. it just hasn't played out there in terms of the data.
what about is there raised awareness of this educational gap? >> yeah, in a research came out nationally, evanston did is own research, parents and families in the community has been pushing the school, schools to make some changes. and so they are trying to assess what are the real policies and practices in the classroom. you know, day-by-day, moment by moment that affects students and affects black and hispanic students adversely. david: this is happening in an affluent town, diverse schools, etc. what's the takeaway for other schools around the country where the demographics might be different, the geography might be different? >> there is for sure, a national achievement gap and a lot of it can be attributed to really stark differences in income and wealth for a black family, white families. but i think what this suggests
is that even when those gaps aren't as big or, you know, are being smoothed over, if they are and where they are, that there are still attitudes and perceptions that biases that are probably unconscious, but nonetheless persist and are affecting the quality of education that are in the color gap. carol: in many places, it's a full-time job in and of itself. >> in this country, child care is very hard to line up and it is very expensive. so that is one of the things that is a pervasive stress among working parents of figuring how do i watch my child while i do my job and live my life and all these things? and in the u.s., we don't have policies that make that very easy. other developing countries have stronger policies that have shown to make parents happier than they are in america. and this is a thing that cuts
across economic lines, it cuts across racial lines and it's a pervasive problem because we have people having kids all across this country and the same policies prevail, obviously. if you're wealthy, you have more resources to deal with it but it's very hard. david: you look at families from portland, oregon, but it's a very representative sample. these are families trying to many different options to deal with it. >> there's this constant hustle that people have where they're piecing together one situation that might work for a younger kid because it's hard to get care, particularly for newborns or infants and then another situation when you have your kid in a daycare but aren't quite ready for pre-k or kindergarten, and these families have to go with the flow essentially but really structure their time and their arrangements in different ways. i talked to one woman who said i had to change my job saying i have to be out of here by 4:00 p.m. because my daycare closes at 5:00.
that is a deal-breaker for my job. and these are the realities. care centers have to manage regulations that are there for understandable reasons but at the same time, families have to piece together five days or week if not more. carol: and you guys weave together a bunch of different families. but one of the families actually own a daycare facility and yet they've got to find someone to take care of one of their kids. >> exactly. so they have one 18-year-old or 18-month-old and they don't do kids that young because it's very hard and expensive to provide care because you have to have more providers. and they have another daughter who is of age to go to their facilities and she does go two days a week but she doesn't go more because that can make space for a paying customer. they tag team running this business and child care. so they're handing the kids back and forth and one of their
parents, grandparents watches and picks up time in between with the kids. and you get the sense that they must be texting all the time trying to coordinate who's there, when are you there, who is picking up whom and whatnot. but that's very common. not only as kids grow up or over the course of one week, the variety of what people have to manage. david: what is it about this issue that fits in so nicely with what you guys are looking at? >> the child care issue has come up in this election overtly. hillary clinton has talked about it front and center and part of her appeal to women across the spectrum. and ivanka trump has made it an issue and one of the things that's interesting is when ivanka came out with the proposals, they were not all that different than hillary's. it's a universal problem and there's some known solutions. we need better parental leave policies. other countries make it work and data has shown that they are happier than we are when they're parents. it's something that resonated across the country.
david: the stories in the election issue rely on data. carol: and a visual editor had to turn that data into art. >> we started with these 10 demographics and then we found ways to combine them in every possible way. so combining two at a time or three at a time or all sides. and when you combine them -- carol: by demographic split, you mean men, women, blue, red? >> yes. it's young and old, rich and poor, men and women and white and non-white. you get 242 different ways to kind of like slice america, basically. david: how did you come up with the idea to do that? it was integral in how you approach the issue. >> it started with one to our graphics editor and he had this idea that everyone says there's two americas. there's the men and the women or republican and democrat. and if you take all these different what is that people describe two americas, you start cross-sectioning them, you get way more of a diverse picture. carol: as we went through the
stories, we kept seeing these little icons throughout. it plays through the diversity of america. >> exactly. the idea is when you kind of look at all these different ways to slice people, you get a more diverse picture which is way better than the divisions of a lot of the other stuff going on in the world right now. david: talk about how you approached that. you have all of these great stories about people but you tell it in such a visual way. >> the kind of mantra which is this danish design mantra is so clear it hurts. so we used one type phase for the whole thing. we made clear the color coding throughout it and just really made the stories and the content come forward and give the reader like the most direct way into what we're telling it do. david: up next, an unlikely police cadet in ferguson, missouri. carol: and the two faces of second amendment people. ♪
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you don't see that every day. introducing wifi pro, wifi that helps grow your business. comcast business. built for business. carol: welcome to a special election edition of "bloomberg businessweek." i'm carol massar. david: and i'm david gura. it is everything but politics, as the magazine looks ahead to the u.s. presidential election. carol: it focuses on their ambitions and concerns. david: investigates what divides the electorate, and what it tells us about donald trump and hillary clinton. carol: we are here with the editor-in-chief, ellen pollack. you guys take us to ohio, to the trumpiest and clintonest parts of the state. ellen: ohio is sometimes considered the swingiest of swing states, as some people put
it. it may or may not be this year, but it is certainly a state that really matters to presidential candidates. and we looked at the districts that are the most pro-trump and the most pro-clinton and spoke to people there. and one of the points we make is that in many parts of the country, people view this, well, it's the lesser of two evils. here, people really support clinton or they really support trump. and the parts of the state where they support clinton, one of the things they are saying is clinton is talking -- trump is talking to us. he's saying, you don't want to live the way you're living, and they're saying, you know, we're living ok and things are actually getting better. and then ohio has lost a lot of jobs, and in some of the areas that support trump, we talked to people who are retired or don't have work anymore, and they feel very strongly that trump is the one for them, including at least one former democrat who's now
voting for trump. david: you go from ohio to missouri, and introduce us to krystal rock. who is she? ellen: she's a police cadet in the st. louis area, and after ferguson, she decided that she wanted to be a police officer. she's hispanic. she's gay. and she wants to change things. and it's a big commitment, and she's very serious about it, and she wants to change the way people view cops. she points out that, you know, it's the minority of police officers who commit acts of violence, etc. and she wants to help change the perception of police officers. carol: you look at gun control and the second-amendment people, and you take it to a gun rights lawyer and an industry group focused on hunting. ellen: that's right. we talked to a lawyer who is very involved in litigation involving gun rights. and of course, the supreme court will ultimately decide some of
these cases, and the supreme court is where it is at. and while you see all kinds of ads and all kinds of rhetoric about gun control, the courts are going to make the decision. and we talk about the path that we will have to happen, and we talked to an organization that is very pro-hunting, as a lot of gun folks are. and we talk about their plans for the future. carol: and it's based in newtown, connecticut, where that horrible shooting happened. we spoke to reporter paul barrett about that story. paul: we decided to go deep with the gun rights crowd and the gun industry, rather than have a standard pro and con debate about what do you think about the second amendment. carol: which everybody has done a million times. you did talk to two gun rights advocates. who were they? paul: one was chuck michel, a well-known lawyer who sues on behalf of people who feel their second amendment rights have been infringed upon, and the other is steve sanetti, the head of the gun industry's trade association, the national shooting sports foundation. carol: talk to me about chuck michel and the case he is involved in right now.
paul: he's suing in over the fact that in some counties in california, the practical effect of the interaction of state law and local regulation is that no one is able to get a permit to carry a gun around them as they go about their business, and he feels that's a violation of the second amendment. that under an extension of a supreme court case called heller from 2008, that there has to be some way for someone who wants to not only keep a gun, but bear arms as the second amendment says, to do that in public. carol: heller was the right to bear arms in your own home, right? where us this case going? paul: it's just starting, so it'll take a period of years before it plays out. interestingly, since heller, there's been a whole wave of litigation to testing the boundaries of heller. and the gun rights crowd has actually lost more of those than they've won. the lower courts have been very hesitant to sort of push out beyond where the supreme court was, and the supreme court,
meanwhile, has not taken any of those cases on appeal. but one of these days, the dam will break, and we'll see another case go to court. carol: michelle wants to see donald trump in the white house? paul: he does. he says he is reluctantly going to vote for donald trump, warts and all, because he is afraid hillary clinton will put people on the supreme court who will do damage to the second amendment. david: the special election issue dug into the two americas. carol: look at all the pictures around us. the photo editor illustrated that idea through pictures. >> this essay is the framing device for the whole issue. so our design director was talking with us about the original concept of the issue, which is, like, you have all these kinds of pieces of the election that you can get into, but what it comes down to is, let's look at the data, and when you look at the data, you can take the idea of two americas and kind of turn it on its head a little bit. so the original concept to start
with, there are two americas, conservative and liberal, and another two americas, old and young, and another two americas, rich and poor, another two americas, white and non-white, and then another two americas, men and women. and so then kind of, i think the math word is like permutation? [laughter] so if you kind of combine all of these things, you get 240 possible combinations of demographic splits that tell a much more complicated story about the electorate, and that was sort of the goal. so what we wanted to do, we started out with research pictures but we really wanted to give it a strong, kind of cohesive look and we worked with a photographer who went around looking for kinds of ways to make these pairings sort of take shape. so to me, one of my favorite ones is the relationship between young and old. you have on the one hand, the hands of a mother pushing a stroll and the other, one using
a rolling walker and they do a and that's what we were setting out to do with all of these to make kind of one to one comparisons between these two ideas. carol: up next, we take the pulse of the middle class, asking shoppers of the mall of america what they want to see from washington. david: plus, mark cuban tells "bloomberg businessweek" why he is voting for hillary clinton. ♪
issue, e-mailing with mark cuban. the billionaire businessman and television personality is a vocal supporter of hillary clinton. carol: and also quick to taunt donald trump. i spoke to reporter ira boudway. mark cuban, we know him well. billionaire, mba, one of the stars of "shark tank." he was backing donald trump. ira: yes, or at least he was sort of publicly supporting trump, calling him the best thing to happen to politics in a long time. he found him refreshing because he speaks his mind and was a businessman rather than a career politician. carol: fast forward a year, and he's not backing donald trump anymore. ira: right. he takes the stage in pittsburgh to endorse hillary clinton and insult donald trump, called him a jagoff. he defined it as somebody who tries to intimidate and bully people.
carol: so you wanted to find out what happened in that year for him to change his mind. you talked with him. what did he say? what happened? ira: yeah. we exchanged e-mails over a month, and he said, basically, when he first was interested in trump, he reached out to trump to find out more, and he really thought trump was going to begin a long process of learning and boning up on policy and really kind of figuring out what he needed to do to mount a serious campaign, and that trump didn't do that, that trump really failed to do any of the kind of work that you need to educate himself. carol: he wasn't curious. ira: exactly. and that that put him off of trump, and then he started looking at hillary, and he was convinced that the e-mail controversy and the foundation pay to play suggestions were not well founded, and he was scared about donald trump's foreign policy. carol: did mark cuban feel like there were any similarities between him and donald trump? they were both bigger-than-life figures. any similarities?
ira: no. i put this to him directly, and i even pushed him on it. i said, you are both billionaires who play billionaires on tv. he said no. he didn't see any of himself in trump. and that trump is an easy guy to figure out, and that he only cared about what people cared about him. carol: what about hillary clinton? does he assume she will be in the white house? ira: he's pretty confident that she will win. since that endorsement, he's been very active in the media, on social media, on various platforms, defending her against all comers and arguing that a lot of these so-called scandals are not. but i think he thinks that she'll win. carol: does he have any advice for her? ira: he did. he said when i asked him what he had suggested to them, what kind of role he had a sort of taken in the campaign, if any, he said he had brought to them some ideas of simplifying the process for opening a business, to make it easier for small businesses
to launch. carol: does he want to be part of that administration at all? ira: i don't think so. he doesn't want to run for office, he says. and he's certainly got a lot of other things that he's doing. but on the other hand, you know, i don't think they're going to ask them. if they did, i bet you he would take it. carol: both candidates make overtures to middle-class voters. david: reporter sam grobart went to the mall of america to find out what middle-class shoppers really want. you walk up to somebody in the mall of america, what did you want to ask? sam: i would warm up by asking them why they were there and what they were shopping for, and were there things that they sell around the mall that they did want but couldn't have right now, and did they feel that was something they could save up for or something that they would never be able to afford? and from there, we talked about their own situation, as far as their income, where they lived, what they did for a living. carol: how did most people classify themselves? did they think they were doing well?
sam: most people think they're middle class, regardless of whether they're making $30,000 or $200,000 a year. so that is a very strange, wide band. the other thing is, almost everybody felt that they should be doing better. few people felt -- there's maybe one couple that felt like, yeah, we're ok. and they were making about $90,000 a year in arizona. david: was there an aspirational quality to all of these people you talked to? you think of middle-class, you think people who are able to live comfortably, maybe they aspire to upper-middle class or upper class. did that come through? sam: people seem to aspire to middle-class. there wasn't an aspiration of going higher than that. it was like, i want to live free from worry. i want to be able to do some things. i recognize i can't do everything. if i can have that, that would be enough. carol: i find it so interesting that we spend so much time in the press saying, there is no middle class anymore. it's interesting that you go out and talk to the public, and many say, we're middle class. sam: it's not that there's no middle class. there are millions of middle classes.
it's every individual has some idea of what middle class is. the problem is they're all different. carol: any feeling in terms of what candidate might be better for them? do they all seem to not feel like they were doing great? sam: it was mostly an apolitical conversation in that regard. some of the people who made more money were on the conservative side of things, but everybody else kind of had a general cynicism, if you will, and that the world is hard and government is insufficient. and well, we'll see what happens. david: you could have gone anywhere in the u.s. why did you decide to go to the mall of america? sam: it works for the photographic purposes. it gives us a great, singular location. everybody's been to a mall. it's the biggest one in the country. it's in the middle of the country. it seemed like a really good place to start. david: we talk to an entrepreneur who turned competition from china into a lucrative business opportunity. carol: and how the political cycle looks from outer space. astronauts give their advice to the candidates and voters. ♪
david: welcome back to "bloomberg businessweek." in a special election issue, american chair manufacturer darius mir reveals what he did when he faced stiff chinese competition. carol: i spoke to him. darius: we are an office chair manufacturer for over 34 years. we started importing a finished line of products from italy for wholesale distribution in the united states. and soon after we got started, we began to bring manufacturing into our company and became quite an integrated manufacturer.
our office chairs by the late 1990's. we currently operate three plants, one in california, another in china, that's the one we own and operate ourselves, and also our newest plant in union city, tennessee, which is our recent effort to bring manufacturing back to the united states. carol: are you constantly looking and assessing -- you run a company. you've got to be profitable, assessing what's the smartest place or where is the smartest place to manufacture and that could change, maybe from year-to-year? darius: well, we are constantly looking ahead and trying to figure out where we would like to be in five to 10 years' time. after we started our operation in china, it gave us a chance to get some firsthand experience of what really is involved in manufacturing product overseas. although our china facility has helped us grow tremendously over the past many years, but a few years ago, we started to put
together a study. that took us about three and a half years to complete, to find out what it would take to bring manufacturing back to the united states. we hired consultants. we visited many different locations and the end result is, if you put five elements together, we would be able to manufacture a very high quality product in the united states and be able to compete with similar imported products. carol: the election issue digs into what may be causing the division between americans at the moment. david: it recognizes there is a silver lining. economics editor peter coy tells us more. peter: the founding fathers knew this was not going to be one big happy family. the question is, what do you do about that? and the genius of america, really, is that people who are so different can live together, can work together. and the constitution is built around the idea of checks and balances.
it's a democracy, but it's a republic. you see, the problem when you have a pure democracy, strictly going by referendums and so on, and i'll mention brexit, for example, when kind of unadulterated democracy, where everybody expresses opinions all the time and directly affects the way the government -- doesn't tend to work too well. and in a republic, then you have elected representatives, you have a president, two houses of congress, a court system, that kind of helps. but what i'm kind of saying in this article is that it's more than just the structure of the government. the people themselves are not as divided as it appears. carol: you actually cite a study in your story. i think it was from the university of maryland. what did they find?
peter: yeah. they did a meta analysis. that is, they didn't do their own survey, but they went back and looked at a bunch of surveys that had been done to see how people stood on policy issues. and if you just, you know, pay attention to the news, you would imagine that we had this deep schism. republicans way over here and democrats way over here. but on a lot of issues, it really wasn't that way at all. carol: republicans and democrats are actually a lot more alike than we think. peter: yes, the people. the parties are clearly split and the candidates are diametrically opposed, but when you get past sort of the caricatures that we make of each other and, you know, demonizing the opponent, and you get down to the nitty-gritty of how you feel about, say, what to do about childcare or healthcare and so on, and you take off your party hat and your party
blinders and just think like an engineer, we have a problem here. we need to solve it. then you do find issues where there are splits, but not as many as you might think. there are a lot of issues where we just want to get something done. and i think what we try to do in this issue is illustrate that for all the differences between americans, there are a lot of overlaps and a lot of similarities and a lot of common goals. david: put this in the context of the conversation that has been ongoing since the primary election. what is going to happen to these two parties that they were so starkly divided during the primaries? there has to be some sort of reckoning, maybe for the losing party, maybe for both parties at the end of the presidential election. but it sounds like, from what you are saying, if you were to offer a prescription, the party system as it is now is making it more difficult to see or understand the similarities that we have. peter: yeah.
and a perfect example of this is the parties seem to be all about self-preservation and self perpetuation. and every 10 years, congressional redistributing is a culprit in this, because the parties want to entrench themselves in safe seats, and so they draw the boundary lines in a way in which, if it's a republican district, there's no competition. once you win the nomination, you're going to win the election. and so the contest is entirely within the primary against other republicans and then the most -- because the primary voters had to be more extreme than the general electorate, that you have a strong incentive to move to the extreme of your own party. and the same thing with the democrats. there's no difference on the other side. but we -- the parties become more extreme than the electorate.
david: the election issue aims to offer perspective on the current state of the american electorate. carol: so why not see what we all look like from hundreds of miles of the ground? reporter josh idelson sat down with astronauts. josh: we talked to a couple of former astronauts to get a sense of how, having looked at the u.s. and the world in space, shapes how they look at politics. the couple of astronauts had a lot of things in common to say, that the experience of working together with people from all different countries changes how you think about nationalism and about what it means to look out for your country's interests, that it gives you the sense that there is not really a choice than to try to find a way to work together with people beyond the u.s. they talked about the empiricism and the command of facts that is involved in making something go up in the air and come back down again safely and a sense that facts are not front and center
enough in u.s. politics, that cooperation is not front and center the way it has to be up in space. and they also talked about the climate and the way you look at it differently once you've seen the climate from the other side of the atmosphere. carol: it's a wonderful quote in this picture, and it talks about, there's smoke in north america and you realize what happens in one place, one country, it makes its way around the globe. josh: sure. and one of the astronauts i talked to did describe having, as you mentioned, that powerful experience of seeing that connection and seeing a borderless world, so to speak. the other said he didn't really get the emotional gut sense. he said, you know, what do you expect? that you're going to see dotted lines in the sky? [laughter] carol: such a scientist. josh: he said what leaves an impression is seeing how you work together with other countries, and also seeing how small the atmosphere is. both astronauts used the skin of an apple.
as one of them put it, it's a dead rock with this tiny living humane piece on the top of it that we have to look out for, and that was a perspective both of them, really, came away with from having been up there. carol: what did you like most about the magazine? david: i really liked what josh did. he found this photograph and had two extended interviews with the astronauts who had been in outer space, looked down upon the earth, and thought very deeply about divisions and borders. it was a very interesting perspective. what about you? carol: i liked susan's story. she takes us to evanston, illinois, and she looks at the public education, and this is a city that has spent a lot of money and effort to really desegregate the schools, and yet there's this gap between black and white students. and she really digs into this, and i had no idea it was going on. so i really love that story. "bloomberg businessweek" is available on newsstands now. david: and online. carol: more of bloomberg television is coming up next. ♪
ramy: coming up on "bloomberg best," the stories that shaped the week in business around the world. a report on oil says the glut will persist. a smartphone giant dials up damage control. a megamerger may finally be signed and sealed, and the boe keeps rates on hold for now. >> i liked that they got the retaliation in first. ramy: frank talks about serious challenges. >> we need roads, trains, ports, energy. >> it goes in the category of you can't win them all. ramy: u.k. and eu leaders gear up for the next phrase of brexit. >> the negotiation, when it will start, will be global. >> i don't mind the government spending a few months getting its ducks in a row, getting